Cheetahs bench Nche
Cheetahs bench NcheSHARE
Prop Charles Marais replaces Retshegofaditswe Nché in the No.1 jersey. Nche picked up a cartilage injury in the 55-17 semifinal win over the Golden Lions last weekend.
However, Nche was deemed fit enough to earn a start on the replacements bench
Centre Nico Lee, who also picked up a niggle in the semifinal, is fit and holds onto his place in the midfield.
"We are very blessed to pick the players that we wanted to," said Smith. "It has been a real blessing the whole year. Everybody is healthy and recovered well and are ready to play, so I am excited."
A victory for the Cheetahs in the Currie Cup Final would not only earn them their first title since 2007, it would also mark their 10th straight win this season.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Retshegofaditswe Nche, 18 Armandt Koster, 19 Henco Venter, 20 Tian Meyer, 21 Fred Zeilinga, 22 Rayno Benjamin, 23 Conrad van Vuuren.
Date: Saturday, October 22
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 16.00 (14.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden, Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Marius Jonker